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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Book Reviews
Peer Review Status: Unrefereed
Title: Book review: What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use
Author(s): Todd, James D
Keywords: Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Cultural Studies
Gender Studies
Issue Date: 2021
Date Deposited: 5-Apr-2022
Citation: Todd JD (2021) Book review: What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use. Review of: 'What’s the use? On the uses of use', Sara Ahmed, 2019 Durham, NC and London, Duke University Press, 2019 281 pp., ISBN 978-1-4780-0584-1. Gender, Place & Culture, 28 (4), pp. 588-591.
Abstract: First paragraph: I read What’s the Use? while tired. On lockdown due to COVID-19, my anxiety was dominant and my dismay at academia’s response to the pandemic sat at the forefront of my thoughts. Sara Ahmed’s exploration of how bodies (both human and otherwise) are used, become used up, and fall in and out of use proved both a source of comfort and a device for maintaining resilience and for pushing onwards through difficulty. Indeed, as with many of Ahmed’s writings, What’s the Use?, with feminist solidarity radiating from its pages filled with her characteristic rhetorical and language-repurposing writing, will allow readers to question and contest their lived realities and surroundings. Throughout the book, which completes a trilogy of writings employing a similar approach (Ahmed 2010, 2014), Ahmed draws on new archival and historical research and her recent work on academic institutions and queer life to develop intimate ‘biographies of use’ - stories and tracings that coalesce around (and bind) objects, things, bodies, histories, and voices. In doing so, Ahmed leaves another landmark impression on intersectional feminist thinking, praxis, and pedagogy, and develops new modes for examining the co-constitution of spaces, bodies, and social relations that will animate feminist and queer geographical study.
DOI Link: 10.1080/0966369x.2020.1769372
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